Monday, March 25, 2019

Review - Hard Loving Cowboy

Title:   Hard Loving Cowboy
Author:  A.J. Pine
Series:  Crossroads Ranch #3
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  480
Date of Publication:  March 26, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

Includes a bonus novella

Don't miss the third book in A.J. Pine's bestselling Crossroads Ranch series, featuring fan-favorite cowboy Walker Everett!

This cowboy's handsome, sexy, and definitely off limits . . .

Walker Everett spends his days at the Crossroads Ranch wrangling cattle-and steering clear of anything that would complicate his already too-complicated life. Until Violet Chastain, the ranch's newest employee, asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for her parents' anniversary party. She's the most beautiful woman he's ever met and needs his help. How can he refuse?

Violet isn't about to fall for a brooding bad-boy cowboy, no matter how sizzling their chemistry. But she also never expected Walker to go along with the charade. Before long, he's charming her parents at their weekly dinners and kissing her way more than necessary. Spending so much time together tests the limits of their "just friends" relationship, but what happens when their game of pretend becomes all too real?

Includes the bonus story Rocky Mountain Cowboy by Sara Richardson!

"A fabulous storyteller who will keep you turning pages and wishing for just one more chapter at the end." --- Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author, on Second Chance Cowboy

"Cross my heart, this sexy, sweet romance gives a cowboy-at-heart lawyer a second chance at first love and readers a fantastic ride." --- New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ryan on Second Chance Cowboy


It is Walker's story! In the Crossroads Ranch series, the first two Everett brothers have found love. I have been eagerly awaiting Walker's story because of the fact that he has spent his last years in the bottom of a bottle. For a love story for Walker to work he would have to make huge strides. Readers will not be disappointed.

When asked by his family's ranch and vineyard's new employee, Violet Chastain, ask him to pretend to be her boyfriend when around her parents, he finds this to be a great challenge. For starters, his life is barely on track and he has been sober, thanks to rehab, for just two months. He has enough on his plate with that and with keeping his family's businesses going strong. To further complicate things, Walker really, really likes Violet but this is the worst possible time for him to become involved in a relationship.

Violet just ended a relationship, for starters. Furthermore, she is very concerned about her parents, particularly her mother. She has put her life on hold due to her loyalty to them. When she says that she and Walker are dating, she sees their joy and decides to keep up the ruse. What she must now do is to fight the very real attraction she has to Walker. The question proves to be just how long can they deny their undeniable chemistry.

I have read all three stories in this series prior to this one and this one definitely is my favorite. Walker has come a long way. He has not had it easy as he lost his mother while young and had an abusive father. His brothers have been patient with him but he finally was forced to face his problem with drinking. I do like how his sobriety was handled. All the while, Walker deserved love. In spades. Violet was indeed perfect for him, but his baggage was real. The conflict was real. 

With the time it took for Walker to deal with his addiction, a very genuine relationship was built with Violet. One other thing I enjoyed about this book was Violet's selfless attitude when it came to her family, and that brought another sensitive issue to the fore.

A.J. Pine has quickly become a favorite author of mine with these books. They are wonderful love stories, but with a strong sense of family. This affecting story will be with me for a while to come.

Hard Loving Cowboy is the last book in the Crossroads Ranch series. The previous stores are Second Chance Cowboy, Saved by the Cowboy and Tough Luck Cowboy. Each story in this series can be read as a standalone.

Many thanks to Forever for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review for Second Chance Cowboy,

Review for Saved by the Cowboy,

Review for Tough Luck Cowboy,


A teen librarian by day and a romance writer by night, A.J. Pine can’t seem to escape the world of fiction, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. When she finds that 25th hour in the day, she might indulge in a bit of Netflix and Hulu, nourishing her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. She hails from the far off galaxy of the Chicago suburbs where she resides with her two amazing kids and three little devils disguised as cats.

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